Representative portrait of the childhood in the Socialist Yugoslavia
Representative Portrait of the Childhood in the Socialist Yugoslavia is proposing one possible reading of the Yugoslav socialist state, its dominant models and legacy, focusing on the representative portrait of the institutional childhood. It starts from a belief that institutional childhood construction could be an important place to look at when analyzing dominant social models, projections of the future, and ideological frames of any society. At the same time, the project suggests that the sphere of the institutional childhood might be the exact place from which binary oppositions concerning the Yugoslav socialist state could be disturbed and opened for new readings.
The starting point for the research are photo-albums that Josip Broz Tito, the Yugoslav president-for-life was receiving from and in the name of the Yugoslav children starting from 1945 all until his death in 1980 that today are part of the collection of the Museum of Yugoslavia based in Belgrade. Going beyond the notions of performativity in the socialist “totalitarian” regimes, the project is looking into ideas, plans, values, and hopes invested in children of the Socialist Yugoslavia regarded to be both architects and guardians of the future. Throughout the research, the Socialist Yugoslavia is approached as an important experiment that still could hold a potential when rethinking alternatives for our present social and political relations. That potential is recognized not in restoring the past, or in pointing at the moment when everything went wrong so it could be changed in the future, but rather in looking into the questions once offered and negotiated, but never adequately answered.